GUEST VOICE: Marijuana Is Not The Enemy, Establishment Politics Is

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Furthermore, when it comes to down it, it has become brutally clear to me that these men and women have not even glanced at the regulation bill in the State House. If they had, they’d know that all their issues in regards to youth access had already been addressed in that bill. Additionally they would have seen section 21-28.10-6, which is titled “Municipalities.” It states that;

“Nothing shall prohibit municipalities from enacting ordinances or regulations not in conflict with this section or with department rules regulating the time, place, and manner of marijuana establishments’ operations, provided that no local government may prohibit any type of marijuana establishments’ operation altogether, either expressly or through the enactment of ordinances or regulations which make any type of marijuana establishments’ operation impracticable.”

This section effectively bans municipalities from enacting ordinances or regulations that make any type of regulated establishment impractical. So, if the legislators are not even reading the bills placed in front of them, let alone the ones they are seemingly fighting against, how can we trust them? And if these bills already take into account the worries of the council members and appropriately address them, what is the ultimate purpose of these ordinances? Especially if the ordinances themselves would be inherently illegal under the regulation bill?

In this visceral election cycle, with the rise of candidates that makes clear that the voting populous is fed up with the establishment-style politics, one would think our local legislators would be acting appropriately. And yet here, at home, this style of politics is still business as usual. When you have council members actively legislating against sick state-licensed patient cardholders, some of which could be our ailing veterans, you have to wonder; what are their intentions?

A 2015 Public Policy Polling poll was published that noted that fifty-seven percent of registered voters supported regulating marijuana like alcohol in Rhode Island. When that poll is broken down by age groups, my own age group, one of the largest voting blocs on the national stage, and the next one to take over political power from their incumbents, supports regulation at seventy-three percent. A breakdown of the results of this poll in neighboring Newport reiterated that data; with fifty-seven percent approving of regulating marijuana like alcohol.

Again, I ask, if this is the current state of affairs, and we know that there is no evidence that suggests that regulation increases use by teens, what is the ultimate goal of these ordinances? I urge you, your friends, and your family, to all attend the next Town Council meeting, this Tuesday, September 6th at 6PM to find out.

Regulate Middletown FB Event Sept 6

Michael J. Simpson, Regulate Rhode Island


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